Marion Cotilard and Joaquin Phoenix’s coming-to-America melodrama
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May 16 The summer movie season is all about big, crowd-pleasing popcorn films–and that’s exactly why The Immigrant is such a well-timed respite from the barrage of commercial fare. Director James Gray’s coming-to-America melodrama received a warm reception at the Cannes Film Festival last year; now it’s this year’s most tantalizing bit of off-season Oscar bait, driven by performances from award-show regulars Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix.
The film follows Ewa (Cotillard), a Polish immigrant who arrives in New York City in the 1920s. After her tubercular sister is quarantined at Ellis Island, Ewa meets Bruno (Phoenix), a well-connected Good Samaritan who offers to employ her at his Lower East Side theater so she can afford to get her sister out.